April is testicular cancer awareness month, and we are taking a moment to share some insights about this disease in an effort to support screenings. Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that attacks one or both testicles. The testicles, also known as testes, are located in the scrotum and produce both sperm and testosterone. Testicular cancer impacts one or both testicles when there are changes to the DNA of testicle cells, causing them to grow and multiply quickly, resulting in a tumor forming in the testicle.
The exact cause of testicular cancer is unknown; however, it is more common in men with a family history of testicular cancer and those with an undescended testicle. Testicular cancer is also most common in teen boys and adult men between 15 and 45.
Warning Signs of Testicular Cancer
Men with testicular cancer may experience one or a variety of symptoms. Unfortunately, some symptoms of testicular cancer do not appear until the disease has metastasized. The following are common signs and symptoms of testicular cancer:
- Enlarged or swollen testicle
- Small painless lump or area of hardness on the testicle
- Dull ache in the groin or lower abdomen
- Pain or discomfort in the testicle or scrotum
- Numbness in the testicle or scrotum
- Breast tenderness
- Growth of male breast tissue
- Sudden buildup of fluid in the scrotum
- Changes in the size or feel of the testicle
Prevention and Self-Examination
Because the exact cause of testicular cancer is unknown, the disease is considered unpreventable. However, early detection significantly enhances treatment efficacy and improves overall health outcomes. It’s essential to perform regular self-examinations of the testicles and visit your doctor when you find anything abnormal. The recommendation is to perform a self-exam once a month, allowing you to understand what is normal for your testicles and what may have changed.
The Testicular Cancer Society recommends a testicular self-exam during or right after a warm shower or bath when the scrotum is relaxed and easier to examine. If possible, stand in front of a mirror. Examine each testicle with both hands, looking and feeling for any hard lumps or smooth rounded masses. Pay attention to unusual changes to your testicles’ size, shape, and consistency. When performing the self-exam, you should not feel any pain or soreness.
Treatment for Testicular Cancer
Treatment for testicular cancer will be based mainly on the type and stage. One or more of the following treatments may be used:
- Surgery to remove the affected testicle and sometimes nearby lymph nodes
- Radiation therapy
- High-Dose Chemotherapy and Stem Cell Transplant
Contact Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology today for more information about testicular cancer and testicular cancer treatment options. Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology has multiple Florida facilities located in the Tampa Bay area in Tampa and Brandon, FL.